Amy Bloom

Almost blasted my ears off when I sat down to do the diary. K– was on my computer before breakfast (“The Land Before Time”–very cute dinosaurs leaping from number to number, singing in the Betty Boop manner, and identifying shapes and facts while cavorting, even more cutely, in the primordial, candy-colored ooze). She’s off to the playground program in town. Amazing girl. I’ve been trawling for playmates for her now that her new best friend, Hannah, alas, is off to Spokane. The sight of the two of them on the swing last night, coloring in their Mickey books, side by side, feet entwined, was truly the Hallmark Card of Life Without Racism. I asked if she had found out the names of any of the kids at the playground, and she said, with great confidence, “Not yet. They nice. I’ll find out the names of the really nice ones soon.” And I don’t doubt it. Other perks: I got to see Tarzan and was astonished to find that they had solved their racism problem by eliminating dark-skinned people entirely from the continent of Africa. I also find Tarzan’s steroid-muscle look a little unnerving, but the villain has the properly villainous name (Clayton–it simply sneers at you from the page, let alone the screen) and Snidely Whiplash moustache and evil (although not romantic) intentions. We all cried when Tarzan’s gorilla father died–an event due entirely to Tarzan’s infatuation and lack of discipline, but that was quickly glossed over by his brave fight to save his father and gain his father’s forgiveness. Greek tragedies with happy endings seem to be the Disney forte.

In the morning, our bed is K–‘s first stop, for a quick cuddle (which is and always will be one of my two favorite ways to start the day), and then I’m off to the computer before breakfast. Yesterday at breakfast, she told me that her mother only listened to gospel music. I showed her my gospel CDs and she said, “Put some on,” and I did and she said, “OK, I believe you. Now please turn it off. I hate listening to that stuff.” I’m a troglodyte and much prefer Marion Williams to Busta Rhymes, even to Mary J. Blige, whose CDs I do not have.

Spoke to David R. last night. We’re trying to find a magazine project we can do together. First, we wanted to go “undercover” as a couple (although presumably, our marital difficulties might be too obvious–then again, I know a lot of couples where it’s perfectly clear to me that their problem is not ‘“communication” or “priorities”; their problem is that their sexual incompatibility is colossal and neither of them can bear to say so), and we would then attend one of the loathsome John Grey’s seminars for couples. I detest his work, his odd, inflated face, his contempt for women, and his only slightly better opinion of men (he likes himself, of course, and that’s another thing that’s wrong with him. If he were even a little ashamed, or baffled by his success, I would dislike him less. Maybe.). Anyway, since 60 Minutes, the lying thing has gotten plenty of bad press, within the press, and we have to find something else–plus Venus & Mars is at the end of its popularity, and we have to catch something at its height. Unfortunately, David and I are about the two most clueless people outside the Amish, and we haven’t been able to figure out what the current “buzz” might be about. We promised to talk to some fashionable people and find out–and then go have some writing fun with whatever the new “it” turns out to be. It did occur to us that we could be Mel Brooks-like, out-of-date expose-ers–the truth about those newfangled microwaves! Why Jackie hates Ari! What really happened to Carrie Fisher?! Are “dryers” replacing clothes lines?!

Went to see An Ideal Husband with Sarah last night, to give us some mommy-daughter time, which has been a bit squashed by K–. Very pretty in that dark, glossy, period way. Excellent costumes. Rupert Everett reminds me of a smoother, slicker Michael Cunningham. (And smaller, and without Michael’s wonderful laugh, but still I don’t think it’s just gay and dark that makes me think that way.) But something was wrong with Minnie Driver. Her body’s now too thin for her face, most particularly that extraordinary jaw. When she was a little heavier, everything looked smooth, voluptuous, and intelligently sexy. Now she looks like one of the pipe-cleaner inventions I make with K–. But Julianne Moore was a fabulous bad girl, right down to her lovely freckles and faint, fading regret over Lord Goring, and I admired Blanchett’s willingness not to be tarted up as some 21st-century version of a 19th-century woman. And what a silly, slim play it is by dear Oscar.

We’re collapsing under mounds of laundry, juice boxes (I can’t believe I bought BerryBerry Juice boxes–the first rule of parenthood–no red drinks), pieces of toys, bits of sandwich. Haven’t read the Times for three days. Joy and I have little stress-induced colds, to go with K–‘s asthma and Sarah’s allergies. Time to turn on the sprinkler.